Belly Button Psychology

So I was sitting at my computer desk, staring at my navel, trying to come up with a topic for today’s column. As I roused myself from my stupor, I realized that I had developed, based entirely on spurious correlations, a completely novel method for typing personalities.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator. First you answer a broad series of innocuous questions like “What did you have for breakfast?” “Who is your least favorite boy band” and “What is to me?” Then, with the help of an experienced facilitator who may or may not be a trained psychologist, you tally up your scores, and faster than you can say “what a complete waste of time,” you get pegged into one of sixteen personality types. Examples of these personality types are the introverted perennial cynical optimist, the entropic scientific potato head, the exerted myopic wily fussbudget, and the inferior fastidious salt snacker.

Well, my new method is exactly like Myers-Briggs, except that no questions are asked and there are only four personality types. In my new ground breaking method that is sure to see me the recipient of several major research grants, all that you have to do to determine your personality type is examine your belly button and then compare its characteristics to the accompanying chart.

If this were a fancy medical journal, right now you would be looking at a fancy accompanying chart. Since these resources are lacking, I shall describe your personality type based on the four types of belly buttons, one of which, you should possess:

The Innie: This is probably the most common type of belly button. To determine if you have an innie, take your right thumb and place it firmly on your sternum. Then move it slowly down over your belly. If your thumb suddenly disappears up to the first knuckle, then you have an innie. If your thumb disappears up to the second knuckle, then you have an extreme innie. If your thumb disappears up to the third knuckle, then you a) have a very strange thumb and you should consult a doctor about it, or b) you don’t know your thumb from your forefinger.

Having determined that you now have an innie, you should dislodge your thumb and clean out the accumulated lint and anything else you might find in there. If you remove anything larger than a marble, you should seriously consider the weight loss plan that I am developing and will share with you in a future column.

So, what about your personality? I can say with complete confidence that you definitely have one and should probably endeavor to keep it.

The Outie: Following the same procedure outlined above, move your right thumb down over your belly. If you feel a protuberance blocking your way, then you have an outie. Based on this outcome, I would say that you have an outgoing personality and should seek out a custom tailor to hide that bump.

The Vertical Slot: If the above two procedures fail to produce satisfactory results, then you need to take a flat nose screwdriver and gently place the slot vertically on your sternum. Move the screwdriver down, being careful not to draw blood, and see if it fits neatly into your belly button. If it does, congratulations, you have a vertical slot for a belly button! This tells us reams about your personality, far too much for a 700-word column. Suffice it to say that your natural life career should be as a quality control check for flat nose screwdrivers.

The Horizontal Slot: This is the most rare type of button personalities and the hardest to determine using standard belly button typing techniques. Take a one-half inch chisel and gently stutter it along your belly. If it stutters gently into your belly button, then you should take a pill and lie down with the chisel standing firmly out of your belly button. Wait until your spouse comes home from work, and after telling him or her to wipe that smirk off their face, tell him or her that you are a very special person and require the care that only the richest of celebrities can afford because, let’s be honest here, you have a one-half inch chisel sticking out of your belly button.

The only other thing I can think of to comment on involving belly buttons involves inducing the same psychological childhood trauma, a trauma that will haunt me, I mean you, for the rest of your lives when your older sisters chase you around the house screaming that if they unscrew your belly button, your bottom will fall off.

Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.

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